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Ed Miliband’s Bid for Business Credibility

press newsWhat Has He Said Now?

Like the drunken uncle at the family party Ed Miliband has been a perpetual source of embarrassment for his party and their relations with UK business. But now Ed faces the hangover of his excess and needs to shore up some support from the very people he’s spent four years pillorying.

Whether it’s branding businesses as evil, castigating predatory capitalism, claiming broken markets, promoting state intervention, pursuing renationalisation or simply missing the point of small business support, Ed has a long way to go to get credibility with the business constituency in a very short space of time.

But he’s started, in a speech last week he talked of:

  • “Inclusive capitalism” no longer “predatory capitalism”
  • “Great dynamic businesses of our country” not his previous policy of “grabbing builder’s land”
  • A need to “build the wealth, create the jobs and make the profits that will help them succeed” rather than his much vaunted state interventionist role of “freezing energy prices”

But therein lies the rub, he can’t have it both ways and in all likelihood business won’t have him at all.

It is difficult to understand his logic, even more so to predict his real intentions towards business. However well packaged nobody can fail to see the alarming differences between the rhetoric and policy.

Ed needs to spell out clearly whether we are good businesses or bad and what he’s going to do to reward the former and reform the latter.

A tip for Ed, no matter how theoretically attractive it sounds re-nationalisation is not the solution. An era of over stuffed organisations with jobs for all with little to do only ended one way, bloated and uncompetitive corporations mired in industrial disputes and heralding mass unemployment.

The world has moved on Ed, and so must you, for all our sakes, encourage growth by encouraging people to grow, business has a knack of making that happen far more than the centralised state ever has.

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